Title: The Pull
Author: Sara V. Zook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Having two women wanting you at the same time … isn’t that every man’s fantasy? Wrong. It’s a nightmare, at least for Darin Thorne. The doctors had assured him his wife was going to die, sooner or later, so he’d moved on with someone else. Then he’d gotten the last call he’d expected to ever get—his wife was back from the dead. She’s coming home from the hospital and needs a place to stay. Darin is forced to invite her to come home with him. Two women living under the same roof, one his wife, the other his fiancé. Could this ever work? Darin feels a storm brewing in his life. He can’t possibly live like this much longer. The question still stands … which woman will he choose?
“Your phone’s ringing.”
It was one of those mornings. I was late for work and no matter what I did, everything else just made me even later. I reached for my coffee cup that was sitting on the kitchen counter.
I looked up at Violet, her hair slicked back and wet from her shower, her dark eyes lit with amusement by the fact that I was running around trying to remember everything I needed to bring for my work trip.
“Your phone’s ringing,” she repeated.
Grumbling with annoyance, I picked up my cell and looked at the caller ID. An 830 number? Who the heck would that be? “Hello?” I huffed into the phone, shoving it under my chin as I pulled my bag up over my shoulder. I was to be at the airport in a half hour to go to a business meeting in California.
“Is this Mr. Darin Thorne?” a female voice on the other end asked.
I lowered my eyebrows. If it was a telemarketer, I didn’t have time for this right now. “Yeah,” I mumbled, ready to hang up.
“Mr. Thorne, I’m calling from Cauldswell University Hospital.”
I glanced back at Vi, her arms crossing as she watched me in curiosity. “Okay.”
There was hesitation on the other end. “Mr. Thorne, I’m calling you because a patient was transferred here today from Rhinesdale Community Home. Sir, I don’t know how to say this to you exactly.”
I turned around so my back was facing Vi. I let the bag slip from my shoulder and fall to the hardwood floor of the kitchen. “Tell me what?”
I heard the woman sigh into the phone. “That patient is your wife, Livvy Thorne.”
She had my full attention now.
“Mr. Thorne, your wife’s come out of her coma.”
The coffee cup fell from my hand, ceramic pieces and black liquid colliding with the floor. I felt a sudden buzzing in my head like I couldn’t hear or think straight. “Wait. What did you say? I don’t think I heard you…”
“Livvy’s awake. Her eyes are open and she’s talking. There doesn’t seem to be any signs of brain damage. I was asked to call you and let you know,” the girl from the hospital explained.
I tried to swallow but a lump had mysteriously grown large and fierce in my throat. I could barely even breathe. “Oh. Thank you for letting me know.” I pulled the phone away from my body and stared at it for a few seconds.
“Darin?” Violet asked, already on her hands and knees soaking up the spilled coffee with a towel as she collected the pieces of broken glass. “What on earth was that all about? Is everything all right?”
I looked down at my girlfriend, my Vi, the ring on her left hand sparkling as rays of sun hit it as they poured in from the window. That ring had been a promise to her. I’d marry her right away as soon as Livvy—my wife—passed away. The doctors assured me it may be a long time before it happened, but it would happen eventually. Now they call me and tell me she’s back from the dead. The piercing ringing in my ears continued. All I could hear was my own heart thumping away inside my chest. Livvy was awake. Her eyes were open and she was talking. I took a few steps away from Violet, the phone still clamped in my hand. What would this mean for Liv? What would this mean for us all?
Sara V. Zook pursued her dream of becoming a writer and after earning her bachelor’s degree, sat down to create her first novel in which Strange in Skin was completed in three short months.
She’s the author of the Strange in Skin Trilogy, Clipped, A Magic Within, Evanescent, Reminiscence and her new mobster release, Six Guns.
She resides in Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised, with her husband and three small children.